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Nielsen Signs On Black Crow for Radio Ratings

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Nielsen announced Wednesday (Jan. 20) it had signed Black Crow Media for its radio ratings service in Huntsville, Ala. Black Crow, owner of 22 radio stations in five markets, operates three radio stations in Huntsville, where it uses Nielsen radio ratings as currency.

Nielsen launched its challenge to Arbitron last year. The service uses a "sticker diary" to measure radio listening in 51 small and midsize markets. Huntsville (market rank No. 107) is one of only two markets Nielsen measures twice a year; the other markets are only measured once a year.

"Nielsen's ratings service offers the most accurate portrait of radio listeners today," said Mike Linn, CEO of Black Crow Media. "Their address-based sampling and single-source consumer behavior data are setting a new standard for radio measurement."

Since launch, Nielsen has signed several radio clients including Cumulus Radio, Clear Channel Radio, ESPN Radio and Maverick Media. Cumulus Radio is the only Nielsen client that dropped the Arbitron service. The other groups subscribe to both services.

At a recent investor conference, Arbitron revealed that it had renewed ratings contracts with Citadel Broadcasting and Regent Communications. The loss of Cumulus has cost Arbitron $5 million in 2009 and $10 million in 2010.

In related news, Arbitron announced that John Dimling, former chairman, president and chief executive officer of Nielsen, has joined Arbitron's board of directors.